St. John’s Episcopal Church
207 Albany Avenue, Kingston, NY 12401

The Good News of St. John’s

January 21, 2021

St. John’s Annual Meeting: What you need to know

Come one, come all! The St. John’s Annual Meeting is scheduled for January 31.  A time to focus on the ministry of St. John’s and reflect on our mission.

Obviously, we cannot meet in person which is a disappointment because we always put on quite a brunch spread and we do enjoy being together.  However, the officers have been working on a plan that allows space for us to reflect on our ministry and mission this past year, learn about ways to be engaged in the coming year, and have the opportunity to speak with the leadership and ask questions.  Here is what you need to know:

  1. Date and Time: The Annual Meeting will be combined with worship.  So we will begin at 10:00 am on Sunday, January 31.  Please be a few minutes early so that we are all assembled in time for the Clerk to take attendance.  Believe it or not, many congregations combine their Annual Meeting with worship so this is not all that unusual.
  2. Length: Please be prepared for our Annual Meeting/Worship to last around 90 minutes.
  3. Content (in no particular order because the details are still being worked out): Scripture readings, prayer, music, brief reports from ministry leaders, Rector’s address, thank yous, conversation with the officers, and a celebration of our ministry in 2020.
  4. Brunch: Please prepare, for your household, a delicious brunch (so we don’t miss out on this tradition) and we’ll eat together at the beginning of worship, similar to our Easter celebration last year.
  5. Annual Report: Next week, in the middle of the week, you will receive the Annual Report as an electronic file via email.  This will be a large document so don’t print it unless you really want to.  If, you need a hard copy mailed to you or would like to stop by the Rectory to pick one up, please email Rev. Michelle no later than Tuesday, Jan. 26.  Copies will be printed and mailed (or made available) on Wednesday, Jan 27.
  6. Election of Vestry: Most years, the members of Vestry have been elected by the Clerk casting one ballot (with all the candidates on it) on behalf of the congregation.  This year, to allow for nominations from the floor, the “Ballot Box” will be opened at the beginning of worship (rather than at the end) and the named Clerk will be available to take nominations via Zoom chat during the meeting.  Unfortunately, we cannot accomplish complete anonymity.  After at least an hour, the Clerk will be asked if there have been any nominations (without being asked who made the nomination) and we will move forward with the election.
  7. Communion: The sacrament of Communion will not be offered after worship that day.
  8. Vestry Meeting: The newly-elected Vestry will meet immediately after the Annual Meeting to complete some necessary business.

If you have any questions about this year’s Annual Meeting, please reach out to our Wardens, Lynn Dennison ( and Claudette Ford (, or our Rector, Rev. Michelle (


Tending Our Light

Our weekly offering of goodness to help keep our spirits buoyed and our mental health on track through the darker months of winter.

Becca Stevens is an Episcopal priest in Nashville, TN who started a ministry many years ago to help women who found themselves in sex-traffic work and wanted to get out.  Over the years, this ministry has developed into employment for the woman who complete the program and, more recently, a way to support other women – a company called Thistle Farms, a manufacturer of skin care products and distributer of products produced by women all over the world.  Find our more about this amazing company here.

The other day, Becca posted something beautiful on her Instagram page – 50 Small Things.  A list of “50 very small things we can do with great love to carry us through the next stages of the pandemic that help us practice peace and hold fast to hope.”  And here they are:

  1. Take a walk.
  2. Drink a cup of tea.
  3. Look in the mirror.
  4. Take an extra flight of stairs and say something you are grateful for on each step.
  5. Smile at a stranger.
  6. Sit with your hands folded for 3 minutes.
  7. Say grace before breakfast.
  8. Tell a positive story on social media.
  9. Pet a dog.
  10. Make something.
  11. Write a thank you note.
  12. Say the name of a teacher.
  13. Forgive something.
  14. Laugh at something.
  15. Use a healing oil.
  16. Sip water.
  17. Vote.
  18. Donate something.
  19. Clean out a drawer.
  20. Cut someone some slack.
  21. Pick up a leaf and marvel.
  22. Imagine a desert.
  23. Imagine a river.
  24. Hear the silence.
  25. Don’t buy something.
  26. Skip a meal and donate $5.
  27. Meditate on a bird.
  28. Skip a Zoom call.
  29. Write down a dream.
  30. Sit in a bath.
  31. Light a candle.
  32. Wear an old piece of clothing that has a story.
  33. Remember a hero of justice.
  34. Feel the floor holding you up.
  35. Remember where you got your shoes.
  36. Feel the sunshine on your face.
  37. Feel the rain on your back.
  38. Eat a piece of fruit and imagine its journey and the hands that touched it.
  39. Memorize a verse.
  40. Sing a song.
  41. Draw a picture.
  42. Whistle.
  43. Throw something away.
  44. Write a line of poetry.
  45. Call a friend.
  46. Say something good.
  47. Look at an old photo.
  48. Remember a story about snow.
  49. Find the change in your home.
  50. Change your mind.
  51. Plan a vegetarian meal.
  52. Stretch.
  53. Get up early to see the sun rise.
  54. Howl at the moon.


COVID-19 Vaccinations – Hope, Patience, and Being Informed

Dear Ones: I cannot tell you how incredibly heartened I am to know that our federal government is now moving forward with a plan to combat the pandemic – to get more vaccine produced and distributed, stricter guidelines for behavior in public, and more personal protective equipment to those who need it.  Our duty in this fight is to comply with these directives and to be informed about how/when/where the vaccinations will be distributed.

I was asked to be a part of the Westchester Medical Center’s Equity Task Force and other clergy on the Kingston Interfaith Council been asked to be on other task forces so, through our faith communities, we can hopefully help inform our community.  That’s how this virus is going to be conquered – the members of each community working together.

The first thing to understand is that the demand for vaccines is much, much greater than the supply right now.  How much greater?  Here’s an example: In Ulster County there are approximately 180,000 people.  About 25% of those people are currently eligible – around 45,000 people.  Right now, Ulster County is only receiving 1,200 doses/week as a part of the 300,000 that New York State is receiving.  And each person needs 2 vaccinations in order for this to work.  The difference is pretty dramatic.

So, if you’ve been trying to get an appointment and haven’t been able to procure one yet, that’s why.  There is simply not enough supply to meet the demand right now.  The good news is that there is more vaccine being manufactured so the amount of vaccine will soon increase.  There is also one manufacturer working on a single-dose vaccine but it hasn’t been approved for use yet so it’s still a ways out.  Unfortunately, what all this means is that we need to have some patience in the meantime.

There is a resource for Ulster County: COVID-19 Vaccination Resource Center – Ulster County COVID-19 Information (  On this website, you will be able to do three things: 1) review the eligibility protocol to know if you are eligible to receive a vaccine, 2) sign up to receive notifications about when appointments are open (if you’re eligible), 3) access FAQs about vaccine distribution.

The process of obtaining an appointment is simple but, at this point, extremely frustrating because there are so many people trying to get appointments at the same time.  If you have access to a computer and have the ability to use your phone to sit on hold, know that you are privileged in this process.  There are so many who do not have the same kind of access so, effectively, they have no access.  And, in most cases, these are people who we have learned to call “essential workers,” or they are living in more vulnerable conditions than most of us.

In short, if you’re eligible, keep trying.  And pray for those who have no access to try.  The equity task force I’m a part of is working to remove as many barriers as possible while trying to make sure the public is informed.

If you are eligible to receive the vaccine and you have no regular access to a computer nor have a family member to assist you, please contact me.  Also, if you obtain an appointment and need transportation, please reach out to me directly and I’ll make sure you get to your appointment. 

Hope is here, beloveds.  The task before us right now is patience.

In God’s love and mine, Rev. Michelle


Announcements for January 24, 2021

Epiphany House Blessings!  Each year Rev. Michelle makes the rounds to offer a blessing upon your home and will gladly do so this year, although she cannot stay for a visit.  You can sign up for a House Blessing visit from Rev. Michelle or download simple instructions on how to bless your own home.  Epiphanytide House Blessings – St. John’s Kingston

The Page Turners book for February 2nd is “Braiding Sweetgrass,” by Robin Wall Kimmerer.  The book for March 2 is “Hamnet,” by Maggie O’Farrell.  Speak to Lynn Dennison for more information.  All are welcome!

SAVE THE DATE!  St. John’s Annual Meeting is on Sunday, January 31 via Zoom.  More information is forthcoming.  Here is this year’s slate of candidates for Vestry:

  • Lynn Dennison – Warden (2 year term)
  • Liz Moeller – Vestryperson (3 year term)
  • Nilsa Rodriguez-Jaca – Vestryperson (3 year term)
  • Sara Hutton – Vestryperson (1 year term)

Ministry Opportunities

Children’s New Book Drive: Family of Woodstock is in need of books for children who are in or are leaving shelters.  If you are coming to in-person church, please consider bringing a new children’s book (all ages).  Or send a donation to the church (207 Albany Ave) and we will do the shopping.  Questions? Contact Outreach Coordinator Elaine (845-532-6585) or Deacon Sue (845-331-5575).

Have an announcement?
Please send by Wednesday at noon to